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Fitness programs boost productivity, reduce injuries and healthcare costs

Companies are using employee reward and recognition programs to achieve a number of ends, including improving workers' well-being and overall health.

Companies are using employee reward and recognition programs to achieve a number of ends, including improving workers' well-being and overall health.

For example, a Harley-Davidson factory in Wisconsin has implemented a fitness center with equipment such as treadmills, spin bikes, elliptical  and weight machines and other tools that are intended to prevent on-the-job injuries, The Journal Sentinel reports.

While the company could have offered staff members memberships to local gyms, it expressed that it knew its workers' needs best. As a result of the new center, the company's Wisconsin office location has been able to reduce the number of accidents occurring in the workplace, according to the news source.

In fact, 90 percent of muscular injuries among workers at the factory are now caught before they become serious. "No one would have reported a strain then. They would have just sucked it up and said, 'that's life in a factory,'" John Lowry, a supervisor at the plant, told the newspaper. "We are seeing a direct correlation between people involved in wellness activities and what it's done to drive down individual costs for healthcare."

Companies with tight budgets can still achieve health improvements by using incentives and offering office sports teams or fitness groups.

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